Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I made cornbread stuffing with broccoli florets and two cod filets for dinner tonight. Well-fed, I took the Online Jeopardy Contestant quiz, 50 questions with 15 seconds to answer each. We'll see how I do if they contact me in the future. It was a lot harder than watching it on TV, even without having to buzz in or phrase it in the form of a question. I also didn't have Dinah beside me chirruping inquisitively every time I shouted out an answer.

My number one choice for Presidential candidate dropped out today -- no, NOT Guiliani, you scalawag, I meant John Edwards. I'm disappointed, mostly at the treatment he received for talking about issues no one else is, but I still have two grade A candidates to choose from and I'm contented with either.

I bring this up particularly to contradict the hydrophobic spew of so-called pundit Dick Morris, who announced on Faux News today that Edwards' supporters "are those that can’t decide which they don’t like more—a black or a women getting elected". Yep, that sums me up to a T -- me who wouldn't object if all U.S. property got returned to people of color and at least 80% of ALL positions of leadership were held by women.

As a momentary aside, I seriously don't understand how these sorts of people get named "pundits" or why their opinions are ever sought. It's clearly a WBC (White Boys Club) for the most part, and they of course always choose each other -- you don't even have to watch Survivor to know that. But why do we let them get away with it? I remember in the early 70s, there was a commercial for some product which was introduced by "celebrity Rula Lenska". The first time it came on, my mother, the queen of pop culture, turned to us and said "Huh? Celebrity? Have any of you ever heard of her?" I guess she was the forerunner of Fabio and Ryan Seacrest alike, Gumby figurines they can pose however they want.

John Edwards, I believe, would have taken on both the wealthy elite and the corporate media, with somewhat of an insider's understanding. He was willing to utter the words "poverty" and "class", and didn't have to a cleansing palate rinse with kiwi sorbet afterward. Furthermore, he was an enthusiastic parent from a relationship which had survived the death of a child. That either makes you or breaks you (if you don't pawn it off onto someone else). I believe it had made him. Everyone always talked about his hair and his boyish grin -- the same morons who claimed Dubya looked friendly and "fit". (Dubya may have toned muscles but he still looks like shit on a stick, and his eyes are the deadest in the world except for maybe Gunner Dick's.) What I saw on John Edward's face, however, was maturity and the kind of compassion conservatives can't even acknowledge existing, the compassion that Buddha refers to: the compassion of grief.

Yes, even rich white boys can be good leaders for us. You know, in that 20% I'm willing to allot them, which is likely more than they karmically deserve. As a group, they've been running on empty for a couple of millenia.

(Image by Amelie Chica)

There's some good writing out there in Cyberia today. I'm going to snag the juiciest of it to share with you. First, over at Daily Kos, DHinMI posted in It's A Change Election a message so short and powerful, I'm copying the whole dang thing (it's homage, DH, please don't come down on me for theft!):

"Next time you hear someone extol the virtues of "traditional family values," or call on the country to seal the borders and not allow in new immigrants, or declare that we need to go back to the good old days (that often weren't very good), there's something you should remember. Something that demonstrates the profound changes in this country since the 1950's, before the civil rights movement and the feminist movement helped to greatly advance the cause of equal opportunity for ALL American citizens, something that demonstrates that we will not go backward, that America has irreversibly changed, and that we have changed for the better:

"Never before in the history of the United States of America have the voters and delegates of a major political party had to choose their nominee for President from a field that did not include a white male.

"We may or may not win this election, but in the greater social and cultural conflict fought out in this country for the last 50 years, we have won. Democrats liked all our candidates when John Edwards was still running for President, and we still like our candidates now that we no longer have a white male to choose. We are not threatened by having to chose between a woman and a man of color. We not only accept this as our current American reality, we embrace it as our future. WE are the party of tolerance. WE are the party of diversity. WE are the party of solidarity. And WE are the party of change."

("Blue Rudder", photo and copyright © 2007 by Liza Cowan)

Over at Digby, Dday in The Legitimate Change That Should Come From This Primary explains in easily understandable language why our current primary system is BROKEN:

"If 1-2% of all voters can whittle the field down to two candidates, and deliver a nominee on the Republican side, we have a serious problem and everyone knows it...It needs to be reformed in a big way. The fact that Florida broke the rules, moved up, delivered no delegates on the Dem side, but obviously succeeded since they PICKED THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE, should tell you something. We need a spread-out process and maybe earlier conventions to end this bad front-loaded system. It's terrible for democracy."

("Field Labor #5", woodcut by Michele Ramirez)

Back at Kos, Markos himself delivers two excellent commentaries on anti-Hispanic racism playing out in this election. First, in Bashing brown people to the electoral abyss, he begins with quoting Tim Dickinson's article in The Rolling Stone, Blame Pedro:

"Back in 2005, when Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee fought against an 'un-American' and 'race-baiting' proposal to deny undocumented workers access to health care and other government services, he declared that the bill 'inflames those who are racists and bigots and makes them think there's a real problem.' Impugning the piety of the bill's state-senator sponsor — like the governor, a Baptist preacher — Huckabee quipped, 'I drink a different kind of Jesus juice.'

"That was then. Today — with the nation bogged down in a disastrous war, oil prices at $100 a barrel, climate change cooking the planet and the economy veering into recession — the geniuses vying to lead the Republican Party have decided what's really wrong with America: Mexicans. Even the Rev. Huckabee is chugging the GOP's nativist Kool-Aid: In December, the same man who two years ago called on America to 'be a place that opens its arms, opens its heart, opens its spirit to people who come because they want the best for their families' unveiled his 'Secure America Plan,' which would target 12 million of these good folks for mass deportation 120 days into his first term.

"The immigrant-bashing had the desired effect, winning Huckabee the coveted endorsement of Jim Gilchrist, leader of the Minuteman Project border vigilantes. Gilchrist — who, in a nod toward moderation, clarified to Rolling Stone that his group does not believe that undocumented workers ought to be 'mowed down with machine guns at the border' — has high praise for Huckabee's plan. 'It appeared to me that I had written it myself,' he says. 'It was that strong.'"

Markos goes on to explain how and why racism came out from under its partial wraps in the Republican camp.

In a second post, Immigration issue killed Romney in Florida, Markos quotes Simon Rosenberg:

"According to the exit polls Mitt Romney and John McCain tied 33% to 33% among the 89% of the Florida voters last night who were not Hispanic. Among Hispanics, who where 11% of the Florida GOP electorate last night, the vote was 54% McCain, 24% Rudy and 14% Romney. So it was the vote of Hispanic voters who put John McCain over the top in Florida, and gave him the most important win of his fight for the GOP nomination.

"Thus, John McCain, the candidate who championed immigration reform, may have had the nomination delivered to him by those Hispanic voters he has been fighting for. And Romney, who has led the anti-immigrant crusade in the GOP field this year, saw this strategy explode on him - as it has virtually every other Republican who has invested in it - last night."

If you ask me, the explosion wasn't big enough.

In a related story, Alternet reports:

"The National Council of La Raza, which includes nearly 300 affiliated organizations, will launch a new initiative on Thursday titled 'We Can Stop The Hate,' aimed at curtailing the influence of CNN's Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck as well as MSNBC political commentator Pat Buchanan. In addition, the organization is petitioning for Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to renounce the endorsement of Jim Gilchrist, a cofounder of the Minuteman Project, an anti-immigration group."

This is a good place to remind us all that when we are addressing the lies and malignancy of hate speech, "la raza" translates to "the people", NOT to "our race" as the xenophobes are prone to claim.

("Tuberculosis Ward, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island 3", photo by Stephen Wilkes)

Also at Kos, BarbinMD reports on today's Justice Department oversight hearing in The Nuremberg Defense, including a chilling exchange between Sheldon Whitehouse and current Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Thank g*d there's SOMEBODY in our government who understands that "I was only following orders" is not a defense. Check it out.

("Rhino in Fog" by Geert Goiris)

Other enjoyable reads right now include:

Jesse Wendel's insider understanding and predictions concerning the WGA strike, along with a definitely provocative video from Speechless, at "We've Got Everything We Need".

Kat at her new blog BitchCraft has been grabbing my attention with her musings on the disturbing youth of figure skaters, and defense of the "healthy choice" that divorce can be.

LaDoctorita at Unconventional Beauty outlines another example of Nobody Listens to Women, Part 2.

To close, a little Judy Grahn, from her book Confrontations With The Devil in the Form of Love:

I only have one reason for living
and that's you
And if I didn't have you as a
reason for living,
I would think of something else.


~Denise~ said...

I agree wholeheartedly, my heart sank when I heard he was dropping out.

kat said...

likewise. don't know who I'm going to go with now....